| »

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services,

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

How does the government help individuals who might have trouble making it on their own? The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services aims to help people with disabilities gain independence, so that they can live, work, or go to school. This website offers a window into the way government helps individuals, with an extensive index of articles that show concrete examples of government actions. These include downloadable press releases relating to gubernatorial initiatives, charts, meeting minutes, and much more.

Virginia State Police,

Virginia Department of State Police

The Virginia State Police website offers information about police initiatives to improve public safety throughout the Commonwealth. Website visitors can see the ways the public can access these initiatives, including public safety tips and annual vehicle safety inspections. Police are also subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the website offers directions for requesting information. Overall, the Virginia State Police portal deals with ways the public and public safety officers interact with each other, which is a prime example of government in action.

Virginia Department of Health,

Virginia Department of Health

The Virginia Department of Health has a comprehensive website with information on health-related issues ranging from disease outbreaks to restaurant inspections. Ever wondered why you have to get all those pesky shots before going to school? The Virginia Department of Health deals with issues that affect everyone, and its website shows the ways government influences our lives every day.

Secretary of Finance,

Secretary of Finance

This website outlines the way the Secretary of Finance implements Virginia’s budget, in cooperation with the Governor, legislature, and other departments. One important aspect of the website is Agency Information, which shows how the Secretary of Finance connects with other financial departments. A News section offers press releasees about the Governor’s financial policies. While brief, the Secretary of Finance website shows the interconnectedness of government offices.

Virginia Service,

Virginia Office of Volunteerism and Community Service

Virginia Service is a portal for volunteer opportunities run by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hands-on volunteering opportunities are an excellent way for students to learn about civic duty and good citizenship. In addition to a search feature of available volunteering opportunities, Virginia Service also describes some academic benefits of volunteering.

Political Activity for Public Servants (Hatch Act),

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

These Hatch Act guidelines outline the legal restrictions placed on government employees’ involvement in political activities. This website is aimed at state, federal, and local government officials, and it offers a window into potentially problematic areas of government. How may state and federal officials participate in political campaigns? When does it become a conflict of interest? These questions and more could form the basis of a classroom discussion or a research project.

GovSpot: Virginia State Government Agencies,

GovSpot.com

GovSpot.com offers an index of Virginia government websites. Categories include branches of government, government agencies, elections, law, licenses, taxes, and travel. Although not eye-catching, this list is an excellent resource for anyone doing research on different aspects of government.

U.S. Census Educational Resources,

U.S. Census Bureau

This website from the U.S. Census Bureau has a series of educational materials related to use of the U.S. Census, including maps, community involvement, and data (in pdf format). There are also lesson plans for each section (in ASCII format) that offer guides on how to use these materials in the classroom. State Facts also offers a page on Virginia with more unusual data, such as the number of amusement parks. This website offers a window into how the Census works, and gives ideas on how that data might be used in government decision-making processes.

Virginia Energy Plan,

Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)

Part of the process of government is figuring out how to turn policy into a practical plan. For example, Governor Kaine and other state officials hope to implement a clean, affordable energy policy in Virginia. What steps can they take to do this?…